The main points of interest are Aleijadinho’s sculptural masterpieces of the twelve Prophets, carved in soapstone and his sculptural representation of the Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross), done in polychromatic woodwork. The set of life-sized sculptures is Brazil’s greatest artistic treasure.
The city is notable for its basilica - the Santuário do Bom Jesus do Matosinhos - and associated soapstone sculptures which were commissioned by Portuguese adventurer, Feliciano Mendes in the 18th century. It was created by Aleijadinho, one of the best artists in the baroque style in the world. The twelve sculptures of old testament prophets around the terrace are considered amongst his finest work.
In 1985 UNESCO granted the Sanctuary the title of a World Heritage Site.